If you would have told me 20 years ago that when I turned 35 years old, I would have five kids, be married, have a full-time career working for Child Protective Services, and I would be trying to maintain a catering business, I would have looked at you and said ‘Yea Right!’.
At the age of 15, I didn’t even like kids and sure didn’t have plans to have not only one but 5! I wanted to be the first African American Woman President, and I quickly changed that after graduating high school and entering college. Ain’t nobody got time for all that.
It seems like life happened quickly as soon as I crossed the stage with my diploma, and let me tell you, when life hit, it continued whether I was ready for the ride or not.
I ended up getting a degree in Sociology but realized when I turned about 23 that I had a passion for helping others and a love of cooking.
I eventually got married, had two children, got divorced, got remarried, and had three more children, and I ended up with a big family, a huge dream, a full-time job, and a choice. I made it up in my mind to do EVERYTHING simultaneously. I was on the brink of having an EPIC FAIL and a mental breakdown.
Sometimes in life, we may have dreams, goals, and aspirations that we work entirely too hard and too fast. We start off going as fast as we possibly can because an idea is fresh, and we have to get this one last thought down on a piece of paper, or it is forgotten. We end up spending hours, days, weeks, and even years pouring out our time, money, energy, and stress into things that we consider our destiny or our goals. We end up reaching milestones that seem like significant accomplishments. Still, honestly, those milestones are not the ultimate thing that we want to get to, so we work even harder because “I JUST HAVE TO GET THERE BEFORE SOMEONE ELSE BEATS ME TO THE PUNCH.”
Many of us know the famous story entitled “The Hare & the Tortoise.” If you have never read the short story, it is a great lesson and can be found by clicking here.
The Tortoise challenged the Hare to a race because the Hare mocked the Tortoise for being so slow. In the story, the Hare and the Tortoise started, and of course, the Hare sped off quickly while the Tortoise stayed behind at a slow and steady pace, but never stopping. “The Hare was soon far out of sight, and to make the Tortoise feel very deeply how ridiculous it was for him to try a race with a Hare, he lay down beside the course to take a nap until the Tortoise should catch up.” The Tortoise caught up and eventually passed the Hare while it was still sleeping and ended up winning the race.
In my life, because I had so many things happening at the same time and I wear a lot of hats, I had to intentionally make sure that I was not only spending time with my family, reaching my goals, and helping to provide, BUT I had to be sure that my mental state from doing all of this was OK!
Sometimes in life, we have so much on our plates that we want to be sure we are doing things and reaching goals in a certain amount of time because “I just have to prove that I can, and I will win.” What happens if our endurance dies out along the way with all of that stamina, energy, and stress because we are burnt out!?
Life is precious, and we only get ONE shot. We are not fortunate to have nine lives like cats, BUT we can mimic Tortoise’s efforts in the race.
Man, I want to be a Turtle!
Be sure to intentionally give yourself time to enjoy the things in your present life. Go outside and walk, take a bubble bath, smell the roses, take a vacation, watch your children grow, laugh, watch TV, make love to your spouse, take a moment to breathe. And never forget the finish line will ALWAYS be there no matter how fast or how steady and slow we get there.
What are your thoughts? Are you a turtle or the hare?